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Archive for March 20, 2019

March 20, 2019 — Selling its soul

Today, a press release came out detailing the possible rules changes for the game of lacrosse to be included in a future Olympic Games.

The new draft playing rules were developed by the Blue Skies Working Group, a consortium of people within the lacrosse community, one which includes Dana Dobbie, one of the finest draw-takers in the history of the women’s game.

As such, it’s curious to see that her specialty — the draw — is being marginalized in the new rules.

Under the Blue Skies rules, women’s draws and men’s faceoffs only occur to start off a period of play, whether in regulation or overtime.

And that’s just the beginning.

The pitch will be 70 by 36 meters, about the size of a Texas six-man football field. There are only 10 players on a roster, six players a side.

But what I think is a shame about the proposed Olympic rules is the fact that a shot that goes out of bounds goes to the team that didn’t touch it last, rather than it being awarded to the team that gets to the endline first. That’s a unique part about the game of lacrosse, one which symbolizes the endless roads and fields of the Northeast and Midwest where baggataway was played 500 years ago.

Instead, the Blue Skies group has bastardized the sport into a small space, following rugby (and quite possibly field hockey) into a Faustian bargain, selling the very essence of the sport in order to get into the Olympics.